Love

Why 'Never Going To Bed Angry' May Be A Huge Mistake

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couple refusing to go to bed angry

Sometimes, when it comes to relationship advice, what we take as common sense is really just a bunch of pie-in-the-sky crap! I call it crap because it's too idealistic or just ignorant of how people's minds, bodies and hearts really work.

For example: Take the whole idea that couples should never go to bed angry.

Now, I'll be honest with you, I used to believe this was a great rule to live by. But that was back when I was in a relationship that lacked passion — including the passion to argue.

These days, I'm in a much more vibrant relationship, and I know without a doubt that if we didn't go to bed angry, we'd be up all night arguing about something so stupid we don't even know what it is anymore after a certain point. We're just yelling for yelling's sake.

Going to bed angry is actually great for our relationship because things usually look completely different in the morning.

RELATED: 7 Ways To Say 'I Love You' To Your Partner, Even When You're Fighting

When the alternative is a sleepless or nearly sleepless night, going to bed angry is actually best for most couples.

Lack of sleep, especially from staying up arguing, can harm more than just your relationship.

Here are 6 reasons you absolutely should try going to bed angry, according to sleep experts.

1. It's better for your mental and emotional health.

Stanford sleep expert, Dr. Brandon Peters, reports that difficulty sleeping interferes with higher cognitive and executive functioning of the brain. It also affects our amygdala, which helps regulate our emotions.[1]

When we don't sleep, we overreact to situations or don't react at all,[2] because our neurotransmitters aren't making the right connections.

Basically, your brain is sending up red flags everywhere for more relationship trouble the next day, among other things, like it's creating a minefield.

Also, another thing: your memory is impaired, because the less you sleep, the more your brain feels like you've been tossing back the booze.[3]

So good luck with that, and when it hits 5:00 AM and you and your significant other are splayed out on the floor, throats raw from screaming, both reeling and rendered useless as to figuring out a solution to whatever you were fighting about, let alone getting anything done at work the next day.

This means you need sleep to reason well, communicate effectively and...oh, you know, solve problems!

If you're so sleep-deprived that you can't solve any problems, then how on earth do you expect to resolve an argument? Yeah, exactly. You can't.

2. It's better for your physical health.

OK, the data shows that it's actually chronic sleep loss that dramatically impacts your health, but if you're regularly arguing instead of sleeping, it will add up. Who knows, the next time one of you says "You're killing me" during a late-night argument, you might actually be right!

Because you could easily crash your car into someone else's because lack of sleep really does mimic the effects of drinking,[4] for one thing.

But it gets worse. According to the CDC, missing sleep can put you at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases, including but not limited to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.[5] (You're also more susceptible to getting the common cold, though the long-term effects aren't exactly as dire.)

This will have all kinds of detrimental effects on your relationship. If you think whatever you're fighting about now is serious, don't wait to find out just how bad it could get if you keep it up.

RELATED: What The Time You Go To Sleep Reveals About Who You Are

3. You can have great makeup sex.

Dr. Robert D. Oexman, former director of the Sleep to Live Institute and current CEO and founder of Somly, says that chronic sleep deprivation can lower the sex drive hormones in both men and women. (For women, these are steroids our body produces, primarily: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Testosterone is the key hormone for men's sex drives.[6])

Sleep specialists have found that both men and women report less interest in sex when they're sleep-deprived.

So, if you're looking forward to amazing make-up sex, you need to finish that argument in the morning when you're rested and recharged.

4. You may wake up with a more positive outlook.

There's a definite link between lack of sleep and depression.[7] And it may seem like a chicken and egg situation. Insomnia can be a sign of depression and lack of sleep can play a role in causing depression.

To solve a problem in a positive way, you need rest to refresh your outlook and perspective. Staying up late fighting just drains you both and results in negative thinking and a depressing outlook.

"We should just break up" at night turns back to "We can work this out" in the morning. Sleepless nights are not your friend.

It's almost impossible to feel great and excited about the day, your life, or your relationship when you've missed a lot of sleep the night before because of some ridiculous argument.

RELATED: Why So Many People Wake Up For An Hour In The Middle Of The Night... On Purpose

5. Sleep helps you stick to the central point and focus better on the matter at hand.

In 2013, sleep researchers at UC Berkeley discovered a "dysfunctional pathway that explains the relationship between brain deterioration, sleep disruption, and memory loss."[8]

Now, this forgetfulness could really go either way toward helping or hurting your argumentative ways. Staying up late fighting contributes to you going off track and fighting about all sorts of issues, instead of the one truly at hand. You get too sleepy and forget your real point.

Catch some zzz's and address the issue (if you can remember it) in the morning when your mind is sharp, you feel more clearheaded, and you've had a few hours to let yourself mentally and physically cool down so that you can stay focused on the real conversation.

6. You may avoid doing or saying something you'll regret.

Sleep expert Phil Gehrman, Ph.D., says "Lack of sleep can affect our interpretations of events. This hurts our ability to make sound judgments because we may not assess situations accurately and act on them wisely."

The longer you stay up arguing, the worse the argument will probably get because you start to get cranky and lash out."

By giving yourself a "cool down" period by getting some rest, then revisiting the conversation, it helps both parties remember that this argument really should be just that: a conversation.

Each person has a say, but you're both working toward a shared goal: resolving the issue. And you want to figure out how to make things work and achieve that goal. Together.

This is almost impossible to do in the heat of the moment. When you're yelling, you're not listening to each other. It's just a lot of noise that, at best, didn't do irreparable harm. But it almost always does some harm, whether it's taking a toll on your mind and body, or hurtful words were exchanged in the crossfire, too.

Commit to revisiting the conversation again the next day, once you're rested and regain a little perspective.

Ever heard the old tip, "Sleep on it"?

Even if the relationship turns out not to be, that one's a keeper.

RELATED: 7 Rules For Fighting Fair With Your Partner, According To Science

Dr. Karen Finn is a divorce coach and advisor helping people who are considering divorce make a smart decision about staying or leaving their marriage.

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